(USA Today) – One year ago, 12 Years A Slave triumphed as Oscars’ best picture — the first time the top prize went to a film directed by a black filmmaker, Steve McQueen.
It’s a stark contrast to Thursday’s 2015 Academy Awards nominations, which have come under fire for a glaring lack of diversity. Social media erupted after the slate revealed that the 20 contenders for lead and supporting actor and actress are all white for the first time since 1998.
“It was a total blow, it was like getting hit in the stomach,” says regional Fox network film critic Shawn Edwards, who runs the website ILoveBlackMovies.com. “It was like, ‘Here we go again.’ ”
Selma, centered around Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights struggle, received two nominations, for best picture and best song. The film’s Golden Globe-nominated director Ava DuVernay, who would have made history as the first female African-American director nominee, was notably shut out. So was her much-touted star David Oyelowo.